Portland Youth Philharmonic (Portland Junior Symphony Orchestra) records, 1924-1995  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Portland Youth Philharmonic
Title
Portland Youth Philharmonic (Portland Junior Symphony Orchestra) records
Dates
1924-1995 (inclusive)
Quantity
12.29 cubic feet , (12 record cartons, 1 oversize box)
Collection Number
Coll 184
Summary
The Portland Youth Philharmonic (Portland Junior Symphony Orchestra) records consist of sound recordings of orchestral performances, concert reviews, and documents relating to the youth orchestra’s tours in the United States, Europe, and Japan, during the tenure of directors Jacques Gershkovitch (1924-1953) and Jacob Avshalomov (1954-1995). The Portland Junior Symphony, America’s first youth orchestra, was founded in 1924, and was renamed Portland Youth Philharmonic in 1978. The collection also contains the manuscript for the book The Concerts Reviewed: 65 Years of the Portland Youth Philharmonic, compiled by Jacob and Doris Avshalomov.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for processing this collection was provided by the OHS Performing Arts fund.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Building on a nucleus of students working with local violin teacher Mary V. Dodge, who had earlier founded and directed the acclaimed Sagebrush Symphony in Burns, Oregon, the Portland Junior Symphony Association recruited Russian conductor Jacques Gershkovitch to form a full youth orchestra. He agreed, and in 1924 the Portland Junior Symphony was established as the first youth orchestra in the United States and soon became a model for youth orchestras around the country. Gershkovitch remained at the helm until his death in 1953, and was succeeded by his former apprentice Jacob Avshalomov in 1954. Avshalomov, also an established composer, led the orchestra for the next forty years. The orchestra changed its name to the Portland Youth Philharmonic in 1978.

Both conductors brought the orchestra to audiences far beyond Oregon. Under Gershkovitch, the Portland Junior Symphony performances were heard on nationwide radio in the 1930s and internationally in the next decade. Avshalomov’s orchestra produced commercially-offered recordings and traveled to the U.S. East Coast, Europe, and Japan. Oregon Public Broadcasting produced an hour-long television program featuring the youth orchestra which aired nationally in 1973. In 1984, the PYP celebrated its sixtieth anniversary in tandem with the New York Philharmonic's Young People's Concerts, performing in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center under the direction of Leonard Bernstein.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains sound recordings (archival open reel tapes and commercially-offered long-playing records), concert reviews, and documents relating to orchestra tours for the Portland Junior Symphony Orchestra / Portland Youth Philharmonic under the batons of directors Jacques Gershkovitch and Jacob Avshalomov. Among the sound recordings are works commissioned for the orchestra and recorded by Composers Recordings, Inc., several U.S. premiers, souvenir recordings from tour concerts, and two major works by Ernest Bloch recorded in 1976. Papers include correspondence, programs, clippings, and general materials, including reports, itineraries, and ephemera related to the youth orchestra's tours in the United States and abroad; as well as pre-publication materials, reviews, and letterpress programs made by Doris Avshalomov that were used in the book The Concerts Reviewed: 65 Years of the Portland Youth Philharmonic. Correspondents include major figures in the musical world, including Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa, both honorary sponsors of the Portland youth orchestra's tours.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library prior to any use of reproductions. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use of reproductions may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright holders.

Preferred Citation

Portland Youth Philharmonic (Portland Junior Symphony Orchestra) records, Coll 184, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series A:  Sound recordings, 1959-1995Return to Top

11.29 cubic feet (11 record cartons and 1 oversize box)

Sound recordings of Portland Junior Symphony Orchestra / Portland Youth Philharmonic performances, some accompanied by local high school and college choirs. Archival open reel audiotape (1/4-inch) and commercially-produced long-playing records (33 rpm LPs).

Arranged chronologically within recording format.

Access requires special arrangement and may be limited by availability of playback equipment.

Use of sound recordings requires permission of copyright holder.

Container(s) Description Dates
Audiotapes
Box
1
1959 November–1963 November
2
1964 March-1968 March
3
1966 May-1971 December
4
1972 February-1974 May
5
1974 November-1977 May
6
1977 November-1980 May
7
1980 November-1982 November
8
1983 February-1986 March
9
1986 March-1989 November
10
1990 February-1993 May
11
1993 November-1995 May
Long-playing records
14
  • The Gershkovitch Album: A Memorial Recording (1923-1953). Junior Symphony Association, circa 1964 .

    Thomas, Overture to Raymond; Grieg (arr. Gershkovitch) The Last Spring; Debussy, Rehearsal of " En Bateau" from Petite Suite; Mussorgsky, Prelude to Khovantchina; Rimksy-Korsakov, Russian Easter Overture.

  • Composers Recordings Inc. , 1960 .

    Roy Harris, Elegy and Dance; David Diamond, The World of Paul Klee; William Bergsma, Chameleon Variations; Benjamin Lees, Prologue, Capriccio and Epilogue. CRI 140.

    2 copies, different covers.

  • Composers Recordings Inc. , undated .

    Robert Ward, Divertimento; Jacob Avshalomov, Phases Of The Great Land. CRI 194.

  • Composers Recordings Inc. , 1976 .

    Ernest Bloch, Suite Symphonique and Symphony for Trombone and Orchestra. CRI 350.

  • 1963 May 12

    Michael Tippett, A Child of Our Time (with chorus).

  • Celebrate – Dedication Concert1968 May 4

    Berlioz, Corsair Overture; Hanson, Serenade for Flute; Vaughan-Williams Fantasia on a theme by Tallis; Avshalomov, Inscriptions at the City of Brass. With chorus. NWI 2707.

  • First International Tour March 12-29 1970 Souvenir Tour Recording.1970

    Dohnanyi, Suite in F# minor, Op. 19; Avshalomov, Symphony: The Oregon. NWI 2755.

  • 1971 April 23

    William Walton Belshazzar’s Feast (with chorus); Haydn, Symphony No. 2 " Oxford" . NWI 2778.

  • Forty-Eighth Season1972 February 27

    Handel, Zadok the Priest; Brahms, Song of Destiny, Op. 54 (with chorus); Respighi, Roman Festivals. Century Records 40638.

  • Bicentennial Season 1975-1976 Souvenir Concert Recording.circa 1976

    Avshalomov, City upon a Hill; Dvorak, Symphony from the New World. NWI 2841.

  • 1981 February 28

    Brahms, Symphony No. 1 and Stravinsky, Rite of Spring. NW 3021.

Series B:   Tours, 1970-1994Return to Top

0.5 cubic foot (0.5 record carton)
Arranged chronologically by tour date within subseries described below.
Container(s) Description Dates
General materials
Contains materials relating to arrangements for orchestra tours, including itineraries, schedules, notes, minutes, reports, instructions, rosters, press releases, maps & other cultural materials, business cards and other ephemera as well as materials for musicians. Tours included:
  • First International Tour (1970 March 12-29): London, England; Lisbon, Portugal; Milan, Parma, and Florence, Italy; New York City and Washington D.C.
  • Second International Tour (1979 November 3-14): Sapporo (20th anniversary of Portland/Sapporo Sister City association), Ebetsu, Tokyo, and Iruma, Japan. Included appearances on Japanese television.
  • Spoleto / USA Tour (1981 June 3-10): Charleston, SC (Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto) and Washington, D.C.
  • Third International Tour (1984 March 11-26): New York City (60th Anniversary of Young People’s Concert with New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein conducting); Novisad, Belgrade, Zagreb, and Rijeka, Yugoslavia; Graz and Linz, Austria.
  • Fourth International Tour scheduled for 1987 June cancelled due to anti-Israeli terrorism in Europe. Planned itinerary: Leningrad, Soviet Union; Helsinki, Finland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Kiel and Hamburg, Germany.
  • Fifth International Tour (1989 March 16-31): Jenbach and Linz, Austria; Bratislava, Czecholsolvakia; Budapest, Kecskemet, and Sopron, Hungary; Stuttgart, West Germany. (Sometimes referred to as Fifth tour.)
  • Sixth International Tour (1994 June): Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Berlin, Germany.
Box/Folder
12/1
First International Tour
1970
12/2
Second International Tour
1979
12/3
Spoleto /USA Tour
1981
12/4
Third International Tour
1984
12/5
Fourth International Tour (cancelled)
1987
12/6
Fifth International Tour
Referred to in some materials as the Fourth International Tour.
1989
12/7
Sixth International Tour
1994
Correspondence
Box/Folder
12/8
First International Tour
1968 December-1970 February
12/9
Second International Tour (folder 1)
1978 July-1979 August
12/10
Second International Tour (folder 2)
1979 September-December
12/11
Spoleto/USA Tour
1980 September-1981 June
12/12
Third International Tour (folder 1)
1981 November-1983 December
12/13
Third International Tour (folder 2)
1984 January-April
12/14
Fourth International Tour
1986
12/15
Fifth International Tour
1986 April-1989 March
12/16
Sixth International Tour
1987 September – 1994 July
Programs
Box/Folder
12/17
First International Tour
1970
12/18
Second International Tour
1979
12/19
Spoleto/USA Tour
1981
12/20
Third International Tour
1984
12/21
Fifth International Tour
1989
Clippings
Box/Folder
12/22
First International Tour
1970
12/23
Second International Tour
1979
12/24
Spoleto/USA Tour
1981
12/25
Third International Tour
1984
12/26
Fourth International Tour
1986
12/27
Fifth International Tour
1989
12/28
Sixth International Tour
1994
Musical Score
Box/Folder
12/29
Tokeidai no kane (The Bell in the Clock Tower)
Handscript & photocopy, in Japanese & English. Author unknown.
circa 1978
Photographs
Box/Folder
12/30
Setsuo Tsukahara and Junior Philharmonic Orchestra of Tokyo
circa 1978

Series C:  Concerts Reviewed Manuscript, 1924-1988, circa 1990Return to Top

Jacob and Doris Avshalomov
0.5 cubic foot (0.5 record carton)

Materials gathered and prepared for publication of The Concerts Reviewed: 65 Years of the Portland Youth Philharmonic, a book based on reviews of Portland Youth Philharmonic / Portland Junior Symphony Orchestra performances. Compiled by Jacob and Doris Avshalomov, and published circa 1991 by Amadeus Press.

Container(s) Description Dates
Original reviews
Box/Folder
12/31
1954-1965
12/32
1965-1976
12/33
1976-1980
12/34
1980-1987
Review paste-ups for publication
Box/Folder
12/35
1924-1938
12/36
1939-1953
12/37
1954-1970
12/38
1971-1988
Letterpress programs produced by Doris Avshalomov
Box/Folder
12/39
circa 1990

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Concerts--Oregon--Portland--Reviews
  • Music and youth--Oregon--Portland--History
  • Symphony orchestras--Oregon--Portland--History
  • Personal Names :
  • Avshalomov, Jacob, 1919-
  • Avshalomov, Doris
  • Gershkovitch, Jacques
  • Corporate Names :
  • Portland Youth Philharmonic--Archives (creator)
  • Portland Junior Symphony Orchestra
  • Geographical Names :
  • Portland (Or.)--Performing arts
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Programs
  • Sound recordings
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • The concerts reviewed : 65 years of the Portland Youth Philharmonic